Open Sacred Sites Tours
There are currently no scheduled Sacred Sites Tours. Please check back for upcoming tour dates in the spring.
Tours are led by Jim Bear Jacobs (Mohican) and Bob Klanderud (Dakota). The tours offer an opportunity to learn about Minnesota history from a Native perspective through story-telling and experiencing the sites in silence/meditation/reflection. Over the past two years, more than 500 participants have taken the tour.
We visit sites located around confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers, what the Dakota refer to as Bdote, or “meeting place of rivers,” including:
- Fort Snelling State Park
- Dakota Internment Camp following the The Dakota-U.S. War
- Pilot Knob Hill, a traditional burial ground
Tours are appropriate for adults and older youth. Tour groups meet at a location in Mendota near the sites and auto caravan to the sites. Car pooling usually occurs so those not preferring or unable to drive can ride with others. Address, directions, and map will be sent prior to tour. Dress for the weather with sturdy footwear rather than sandals. If weather is severe we will reschedule. Watch email if it’s questionable. We will do our best to accommodate the physical abilities of all attendees. Wheelchairs welcome as the places we go are on or very near trails. The whole tour can be accessible; contact us with specific questions. People who may have difficulty standing for story telling may want to bring lawn chairs. Those walking should expect to be on some uneven surfaces and dirt/gravel paths. We allot four hours for tours though actual times may vary. Tours start at different times of day, depending on leader or group schedules, sundown, etc.
There is no cost for the tour, but a free will offering is appreciated. Contributions for individuals are invited in the range of $30-$50. Donations support Healing Minnesota Stories programs and events. Space is limited to 40 people. To register, to be placed on a waiting list, or for information on a future tour, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have a group of 12 or more, we can schedule a separate date for your group. Contributions for a custom group tour are invited in the range of $500-$700. Contact us at email@example.com with your interest or request. Programs/speakers/films can be recommended and arranged for groups before or after the tour to help prepare and encourage people to participate, or to reflect further on the experience.
About Jim Bear Jacobs
Born in St. Paul, he is a member of the Stockbridge-Munsee Mohican Nation, an American Indian tribe located in central Wisconsin. He has degrees in Pastoral Studies and Christian Theology and has served various churches as youth minister, adult Christian educator, and director of Men’s Ministries. Presently he is parish associate at Church of All Nations Presbyterian Church. He is a cultural facilitator in the Twin Cities and works to raise the public’s awareness of American Indian causes and injustices. He is founder/convener of “Healing Minnesota Stories,” an initiative of SPIN dedicated to creating events of dialogue, education and healing, particularly within faith communities.
About Bob Klanderud
Bob (Dakota/Lakota) is a cultural teacher at Nawayee Center School, an experiential learning school for Native American youth. He also volunteers with Healing Minnesota Stories as a leader and story teller. Bob has worked for healing within Native American communities through work with Native Father’s groups, and by providing spiritual services for Native American inmates through the Department of Corrections. Bob is committed to following traditional Native ways, including being a pipe carrier, participating in Sun Dance, and hosting traditional Native sweat ceremonies. He has a grown son and lives in Minneapolis.
Suggested Reading Prior to the Tour
Diane Wilson, Beloved Child: A Dakota Way of Life